This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "How Brands Grow" by Byron Sharp. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
Like this article? Sign up for a free trial here .
Do you want people to remember your business’s brand? How can you implement memorable branding into your marketing strategy?
In his book How Brands Grow, Byron Sharp claims that the most effective way to market your brand is to increase the likelihood that consumers will think about it. You can easily create memorable branding in just three ways: advertising regularly, creating recognizable brand assets, and expanding your brand’s reach.
Let’s go more in-depth on Sharp’s three memorable branding strategies.
Strategy #1: Advertise Regularly
First, Sharp recommends advertising regularly for memorable branding. Advertising works by prompting consumers to create and maintain memories about your brand. If a consumer encounters your brand in the future (or anything that reminds them of your brand), they’ll remember your commercial and will be more likely to consider purchasing. For example, even though it’s unlikely that a Chevrolet or Toyota television commercial will convince someone to immediately go out and buy a car, the advertisement makes it more likely that they’ll think of the brand the next time they need to buy a car—months or even years in the future.
Since advertisements work by triggering memories, Sharp asserts that the best advertisements grab the audience’s attention and engage them emotionally, making the advertisement more memorable. Branding that involves memorable advertisements works well even if it’s not logically persuasive. Ads do, however, need to prominently connect to the brand memorably. If the audience doesn’t register which brand the advertisement is promoting, they won’t remember the ad when the time comes to choose which brand to buy.
Strategy #2: Create Recognizable Brand Assets and Keep Them Consistent
Second, Sharp recommends creating memorable brand assets. These are symbols associated with your brand—for example, a recognizable logo and color scheme, and a memorable brand name. Whenever a potential customer recognizes any of these assets—for instance, spotting them at the store—they’ll recall positive memories of your brand (interesting advertisements, past purchases, and so on) and will be more likely to buy.
For this reason, Sharp argues that it’s important to keep these assets consistent throughout your brand’s lifespan. Changing your brand assets reduces the chance of your audience immediately recognizing them, removing the link to past experiences and making it more likely that their mental filter causes them to ignore your brand entirely.
(Shortform note: If rebranding throws away the value of your brand assets by making them less likely to trigger your customers’ positive memories of the brand, why do so many companies do it? Many argue that it’s necessary to keep up with changing times and avoid appearing outdated. Still, history shows that there’s a right way and a wrong way to rebrand, and the key distinction is likely subtlety: Brands Gap and Tropicana faced customer backlash after rebrandings that were too extreme, and they were quickly pressured into reverting the change. In contrast, Google was able to successfully overhaul its logo over nearly two decades through a series of subtle tweaks.)
Strategy #3: Expand Your Brand’s Reach
Third, Sharp recommends expanding your reach and selling through as many channels as possible to increase your brand’s visibility. Whenever someone notices your product on the shelf at a store or listed on an internet search, it triggers their memories of your brand and increases the chance of them making a purchase.
For this reason, when you expand somewhere new, do whatever you can to make your brand easier to notice. For example, fast food restaurants use large branded signs as part of their memorable branding campaign to grab hungry drivers’ attention and convince them to stop there for lunch instead of at their competitors.
———End of Preview———
Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Byron Sharp's "How Brands Grow" at Shortform .
Here's what you'll find in our full How Brands Grow summary :
- Why everything you know about marketing is wrong
- An unpacking of the unsubstantiated marketing myths that business schools teach
- The psychology behind consumers’ purchasing decisions